04:45 AM

Microsoft in Bay Area Recruiting Blog Sites for AdCenter Ad Network

Microsoft has begin to recruit Bay Area blog sites to its adCenter Publisher advertising network, which competes against Google's AdSense. I just had a meeting with Tony Cappaert, Ad Platform Evangelist, he's in town for the next two weeks and looking to meet up with other bloggers (send me your email if interested.)

Microsoft is keen to try out its contextual advertising technology against Google's and is inviting "coke and pepsi" test trials. It also allows other ads on the same pages, which many ad networks prohibit.

More importantly, it is invite-only for publishers and will remain invite only. Google AdSense allows almost anyone to join its ad network, which has resulted in a lot of low quality sites, and link farms. By keeping the network limited and of high quality, Microsoft believes advertisers will have a better ROI and thus will pay more for the advertising and that will mean larger payouts to publishers.

Foremski's Take: MSFT is wise to limit which sites are allowed intothe adCenter network and it shouldn't be too difficult for it to provide a better revenue stream than GOOG's AdSense.

It'll be interesting to see how much better the adCenter revenues will be, and if Microsoft provide decent tools for publishers and advertisers to help optimize both ends of the ad network.

We certainly need a better value recovery mechanism for online content than we currently have with the ad networks. All of them take a much higher cut of the revenues than they should: 30 to 70 per cent of revenues is way, way too much for serving up some ads. Microsoft won't disclose its share of adCenter revenues but says it is very small right now because it wants to recruit publishers. It will take a larger cut later as the network grows.